Photo: Ashleigh Pinnell
Hi, we’re Carolyn and Meg, survivors (so far) of dating in our 20s. When we met, we immediately bonded over our ridiculous and sometimes painful dating and sex experiences. Realizing this was a wide-spread problem, we decided to start datemeintheface.com, a blog where people can anonymously share their hilarious/tragic/confusing dating stories. Now, we want to use our combined experience to help you through the perils of dating in 2012. Write into Quarterlette with your questions and we’ll get you some answers! Read below as we take a stab at the first few reader questions:
1) I’ve been sleeping with/dating a guy for the past few months. I really like him, and I thought that he was into me too, but recently, he stopped responding to my calls and text messages. Listen, I’m smart enough to know that he’s not that into me (that’s pretty obvious), however, I want to know how to handle the situation because I feel really hurt that he just went MIA on me. Do I send him an email asking him for an explanation? Do I confront him? Or do I just swallow my pride, not reach out, and move on? – Anne, 26
Meg: First of all, this guy is a jerk. As to your response, it depends on what you want. If you want him to know he hurt you, go ahead and tell him so. If you’re looking for a certain response from him, I’d give up and move on. As you said, you know how he feels and more attempts to reach out could just be painful for you and/or make you feel desperate. Lastly, any guy who would have sex with you and date you for months and then not respond to your texts/calls is NOT worth your time.
Carolyn: I agree with Meg that there’s no point in reaching out repeatedly when he seems to have given you his answer. But, after sleeping with someone for a couple of months, I do feel like it’s your right to have closure. If he’s not going to man-up and take that responsibility, I think it’s totally okay to send him an email to let him know how you feel. Don’t expect his mind to be changed and don’t expect him to say what you want to hear, but I think there’s something to be said for having the last word. Do whatever you need to do to move on and on to the next!
2) Can you give me your true, honest opinion about online dating? I keep hearing random stories about someone who has a friend of a friend of a friend who met someone FABULOUS online, fell in love–you know, the works. The thing is though, every time one of my close friends tries out online dating, they always end up having horror stories. What’s the deal?! What are your tips for successful online dating…and do you think it’s worth it? It’s not like I’m trying to get married tomorrow, but I would like to meet someone. – Jennifer, 29
Meg: Yeah, I too have 6 degrees of separation from someone who’s in a happy, long-term relationship with someone they’ve met online, but I’ve never actually met that person so I’m still not convinced that these relationships exist. I think it’s possible to find someone that you’re interested in online, but I don’t think it’s common. I tried it for a few months, unsuccessfully. My main conclusion is that chemistry is really important and can’t be expressed online. Someone might seem like a really good match on their profile (plaid-wearing, guitar-playing, iPhone-loving, whiskey-drinking, under-employed, loves to travel), but in person there is zero connection.
Whereas, I’ve been in serious relationships with people who on paper would absolutely seem like the worst match for me (see my Republican, realtor boyfriend from college). The way people come off in writing can often be very different from their in-person personality. An email connection doesn’t guarantee an in-person connection. Also, even a loser can put together a pretty clever online profile. My main advice for online dating is to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Keep an open mind, don’t get too into people before you’ve met them, and know that maybe all you’ll get out of it is a few free drinks and a few good stories.
Carolyn: I actually know people who have had great experiences with online dating; my mom has been in a great, healthy relationship with a man that she met online for the last four years, and one of my best friends is dating her first real boyfriend whom she met on match.com. The Internet offered them the opportunity to meet these people that they wouldn’t have met in their everyday lives.
I went online to try to date a different kind of guy. After dating a string of drummers named Daniel with beards who lived in Williamsburg, I was looking for something new. I went on three dates: Guy number one, I wasn’t interested. Guy number two, we dated for a long time, but very, very casually. Guy number three was my last-ditch attempt to prove to myself that I could find someone normal online. He had a really cute profile picture, we exchanged witty email banter, we had similar interests; he seemed like a successful hipster lawyer. While he was very tall as his profile suggested, he was also wearing dirty Reeboks and the conversation was strained and painful. I left after a drink and swore off online dating forever.
Guy number two, I was actually pretty into and after dating for almost 6 months, was ready for something more serious with. He wasn’t interested in a relationship with me at all, and although we had great chemistry, he wanted to keep things super casual and see other people. It was discouraging to realize that the people I was interested in online weren’t interested as much in finding their true love as in having sex.
What I realized is that I’m into eye contact; I like that first awkward interaction, the nervousness you get when you see that guy at the bar that you’re interested in, the number exchange in person, and that awesome feeling when you meet someone out one night that you connected with and are excited about. In conclusion, if you find it hard to meet people and you’re willing to instant message with a lot of toads, then I think it’s definitely worth a shot, and I’ve seen successful examples of it. But for me I found it took some of the fun out of dating and the guys I met didn’t really live up to their online presentations.